The other day, I wrote about the TOEFL facebook page. Today, I found the following piece of advice on “listening.”
It goes like…
When you’re trying to figure out a speaker’s meaning, listen to how they say it, not just the words they use. They will often repeat important words or say them louder. The gestures they make while they’re talking will also help you understand what they’re trying to say.
Is this tip of any value as far as the actual TOEFL is concerned?
“listen to how they say it”… doesn’t give test-takers any clues as to how the rock cycle is completed.
“often repeat important words…”…but the questions may come from other details of the passage.
“gestures…”…I just wish lectures in the listening section were given through videos instead of a picture (in which you will find the same person as you saw in the previous question.)
As a matter of fact, in taking the TOEFL test, test-takers are to be deprived of all the natural means of communication in our daily conversation. They have no choice but to maximize their concentration and make themselves “all ears.”
Watching a movie without the subtitles (one of the biggest reasons people study English) is far easier.
and non-verbal communication like facial expressions.
All this can be of great help in understanding what is going on in the film.
Let’s get back to the TOEFL.
Do we pay attention to gestures, facial expressions, or the tone of voice when listening to a lecture on “some features of igneous rock? Therefore I do not think it is a good exercise to focus too much on these non-verbal means of communication. Rather learners must practice being “all ears.”
Many learners have a hard time understanding spoken English. Why? Because it IS hard. Do we just give up because it is hard? No way. Then what does it take to achieve that goal?
a strong will power
Everyone including me has once or twice thought like “Oh, I’m just not cut out to be a good learner.” “English is not my cup of tea.””I should start to find something else to write on my resume.” “I could survive without the ability of English.”
“Listening” is not for the faint-hearted. If you don’t understand a lecture, you have to give it another try. If that is not enough, give it another. The thing is that you must keep listening until you get to understand it. It’s that simple. There is no need to make it more complicated.